A Birder’s Prayer

Lord of Birds, please make me a better birder.

Where there are birds, let me find them,

Where there is birdsong, let me hear it,

Where there is a nest, let me shield it,

Where birds are hungry, let me feed them,

Where they are in danger, let me protect them.

To enlarge a photo, click on it. To read its caption, hover the cursor over it.

O Maker of Feathers, please grant that I may be

Fleeter of foot to find birds without flushing them,

Keener of ear to hear their heavenly music,

Sharper of eye to see all their beauty,

Astuter of perception to understand nature’s wonderful ways.

For it is through birds that we grasp nature’s miracles,

It is through birds that we discover a meaning of life,

And it is through birds that we find hope for the future.

Freely and shamelessly based on the Peace Prayer by St. Francis.

All bird photos were taken in Colorado Springs in January and February 2020, except for the Greater Yellowlegs, which was photographed in Pueblo, where it seems to have overwintered, rather than farther south. The topmost photo shows a White-breasted Nuthatch (Carolinakleiber).

61 thoughts on “A Birder’s Prayer

  1. What a beautiful paraphrase of “The peace prayer”, Tanja, and in perfect harmony with your images. The one of the great horn owl is awesome, but it took a while before I discovered the well camouflaged owl. My first thought was a big cat, leisurely resting in the nest. I also showed the photo to my husband, and all he saw was a stoat in its white winter coat (that white string of snow)!
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed my prayer adaptation, Meggie.
      And I think it’s a great testament to the owl’s ability to blend into its surroundings that you and your husband had difficulty making it out. Let’s hope the clutch of eggs will hatch and the owlets fledge successfully. 🦉
      Warmest wishes,

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautifully put, Tanja. As a keen British birder who likes to spend time pursuing his hobby in the US, I would add this postscript: May the good Lord give me the patience, perseverance and observational acumen to distinguish between the various species of sparrows that adorn that fair continent of North America [now that really would be a miracle! 🙂]

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mr. P.
      And I can wholeheartedly second your wish for the acumen to distinguish between the various sparrows of this and other continents (and warblers, and shorebirds, and gulls…😊)


      • My problem is that I see most of those birds once or twice a year, and I can’t remember from one year to the next. One of these days I hope to travel more across the country with the main purpose to get to know as many North American bird species as possible.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, we have the same problem too. Also, these birds rarely sit still long enough to give us time to properly absorb their finer details. And then there’s the problem of male / female variations, seasonal variations, adult / juvenile variations and even some regional variations. So much still to learn! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great question, Neil. I would have to say that during spring and fall migration the variety of species is the highest, as migratory birds are traveling from their winter to their summering grounds, or vice versa. Those are exciting times during which birders often see new species. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Liebe Tanja,
    einen schönen Reigen von Vögeln zeigst Du uns hier, begleitet von einem bemerkenswert naturverbundenen Gebet.
    Diesmal spricht mich der weißbrüstige Carolinakleiber am meisten an.
    Herzlichen Dank für diese feinsinnige Federlese!
    Gutenachtgruß von Ulrike 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Deine warmen Worte beglücken mich sehr, liebe Ulrike.
      Mit diesem Kleiber habe ich einige Minuten verbracht, denn er hat sein sonst ziemlich reges Treiben eingestellt und einfach mal in der Sonne eine kleine Pause eingelegt und mir erlaubt, seine liebenswerte Persönlichkeit mit einigen Bildern einzufangen.
      Gefiederte Grüße zurück,

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I love your great horned owl nest, Tanja!! They nest near us but I can only hear their deep Woo Woo as they hunt for skunks. It is a beautiful prayer – I was so worried about our little birdies that our garden was covered in food during our deep freeze in Texas. We have since cleared it up and covered the garden in fresh mulch and it is a little warmer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kerry.
      Seeing an owl always makes my day, they are so charismatic.
      I, too, was worried about all the birds caught in the midst of the recent brutal cold. It helped that you and other animal lovers fed them.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That sounds exciting, Kerry, you might have surprised the egret. They get defensive around their nests, but unless humans step near a nest on the ground or climb a nesting tree, most species would not attack us.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I did surprise her, Tanja, because I walk like a tracker. She is used to my presence because I walk around the pond regularly. The ducks wag their tails when I chat to them – it means the same as dogs wagging. The Kill Deer are the noisiest little birds. Two of them are nesting at the water’s edge. I wasn’t afraid of her just the sudden movement and noise – I guess she felt exactly the same…😃

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Zauberhafte Vögel, die du so schön eingefangen und mit deinen Worten begleitet hast. Die Bekassinen finde ich immer besonders niedlich. Schön, mal wieder von dir zu lesen. LG Almuth

    Liked by 2 people

  6. There’s no question in my mind that St. Francis would be pleased by your revision. It’s lovely, and filled with the same sense of peace and confidence as the original. The American Dipper is a new one for me; it’s quite handsome. And I found my first Wilson’s Snipes this year — quite by accident, but no less delightful for that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you approve, Linda, and not surprised that you relate.
      Congratulations on finding the snipe. It’s one of the birds I had in mind when I asked for stealthiness as I often flush it, which I hate doing.
      Happy birding.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi Tanja! After a long break, yours was one of the first blogs I looked up, and wow, your poem is Absolutely Wonderful! Just what I needed! Hope you are well. All is fine here. I spent the Winter on some other artistic pursuits, but am hoping to get back to my posting in a slightly different way. Cheers to you! Julie

    Liked by 1 person

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